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Harriet Beecher Stowe1841-01-01Calvin E. StoweOne thing more in regard to myself. The absence and wandering of mind and forgetfulness that so often vexes you is a physical infirmity with me. It is the failing of a mind not calculated to endure a great pressure of care, and so much do I feel the pressure I am under, so much is my mind often darkened and troubled by care, that life seriously considered holds out few allurements, -- only my children.In returning to my family, from whom I have been so long separated, I am impressed with a new and solemn feeling of responsibility. It appears to me that I am not probably destined for long life; at all events, the feeling is strongly impressed upon my mind that a work is put into my hands which I must be earnest to finish shortly. It is nothing great or brilliant in the world's eye; it lies-- 107 --in one small family circle, of which I am called to be the central point."We find in a journal of this period: "For many weeks past my mind has been oppressed with a strong sense of the importance of the early education of my children, and with an ever agonizing sense of incompetence to undertake it. Where so many of the wisest and best fail, how can I hope to succeed. My only hope is in prayer. God is all powerful. . . ."The most fearful thing about this education matter is, that it is example more than word. Talk as you will, the child follows what he sees, not what he hears. The prevailing tone of the parent's character will make the temper of the household; the spirit of the parent will form the spirit of the child."